For more than two thousand years a familiarity with mathematics has been
regarded as an indispensable part of the intellectual equipment of
every cultured person. Today, unfortunately, the traditional place of
mathematics in education is in grave danger. The teaching and learning
of mathematics has degenerated into the realm of rote memorization, the
outcome of which leads to satisfactory formal ability but does not lead
to real understanding or to greater intellectual independence. This new
edition of Richard Courant's and Herbert Robbins's classic work seeks to
address this problem. Its goal is to put the meaning back into mathematics.
Written for beginners and scholars, for students and teachers, for philosophers and engineers, What is Mathematics?, Second Edition
is a sparkling collection of mathematical gems that offers an
entertaining and accessible portrait of the mathematical world. Covering
everything from natural numbers and the number system to geometrical
constructions and projective geometry, from topology and calculus to
matters of principle and the Continuum Hypothesis, this fascinating
survey allows readers to delve into mathematics as an organic whole
rather than an empty drill in problem solving. With chapters largely
independent of one another and sections that lead upward from basic to
more advanced discussions, readers can easily pick and choose areas of
particular interest without impairing their understanding of subsequent
Brought up to date with a new chapter by Ian Stewart, What is Mathematics?, Second Edition
offers new insights into recent mathematical developments and describes
proofs of the Four-Color Theorem and Fermat's Last Theorem, problems
that were still open when Courant and Robbins wrote this masterpiece,
but ones that have since been solved.
Formal mathematics is like
spelling and grammar--a matter of the correct application of local
rules. Meaningful mathematics is like journalism--it tells an
interesting story. But unlike some journalism, the story has to be true.
The best mathematics is like literature--it brings a story to life
before your eyes and involves you in it, intellectually and emotionally.
What is Mathematics is like a fine piece of literature--it opens a window onto the world of mathematics for anyone interested to view.
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ISBN : 9780195105193
Language : English
Formats : epub ,
mobi , PDF
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